FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Obama Move to Extend Wage Protections to Home Care Workers Will Provide “Welcome and Overdue Financial Security” for Millions of Women and Families
Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families
WASHINGTON, D.C. — December 15, 2011 — "By announcing today that it will propose a rule to extend minimum wage and overtime benefits to home care workers, the Obama administration has finally put an end to an exclusion that has hurt workers and their families, damaged the economy and left millions of professional caregivers living in poverty. Now, millions of women and men who provide essential care to parents, grandparents and others in need will be more fairly compensated for their critical work.
There are more than three million home care workers in this country, and 90 percent of them are women. Too many are paid low wages and offered few benefits, which damages the workers and those they care for in myriad ways. It forces these hardworking home care providers to struggle to make ends meet while they provide essential care to others and causes high turnover and less continuity of care. This new rule will help to provide some welcome and overdue financial security for nearly two million home care workers while helping to improve the quality of care for those who depend on them.
The home care workforce is essential in our rapidly aging country. At a time when we are rightfully focused on creating jobs, this rule will improve working conditions in a growing industry, attract more workers to it, and better position the country for the future.
We applaud President Obama for addressing this critical issue and giving home care workers the basic wage protections they have long deserved. This rule will truly make a difference for women, families and our economy. As we continue to create jobs and rebuild the economy, establishing worker protections like this will be critical. We urge federal and state lawmakers to take the next steps by making other important workplace protections, including paid sick days and paid family leave, available to all hardworking Americans.”
The National Partnership for Women & Families is a non-profit, non-partisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family.